Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS San Joaquin Valley, CA

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FXUS66 KHNX 232102

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service San Joaquin Valley - Hanford CA
202 PM PDT Sat Mar 23 2019

A cold front will exit the region tonight, so expect mostly clear
to partly cloudy skies with dry conditions to continue through
Monday. A weak stationary front will remain north of Fresno County
on Monday night and Tuesday with precipitation possible. A strong
weather system will move into the region Wednesday with heavy
mountain snow and moderate lower elevation rain. Afterward, expect
with dry and seasonal conditions Thursday through next weekend.


.DISCUSSION...Mainly light showers continue this afternoon, based
on latest observation and radar data. Latest satellite imagery
shows clearing from the northwest, but with some pockets of
colder air cumulus clouds developing, mainly on the northwest side
of our forecast area (Merced County) at this time. Some showers
remain possible through the afternoon into the early evening hours
in these areas.

The cold front is expected to continue its southward progression
tonight, and skies will likely clear by sunset or shortly after in
most of our region. A few lingering low clouds are possible this
evening in the north and west facing slopes of the southern Sierra
Nevada and Kern County mountains. Gusty winds will continue to
pick up this afternoon and last through this evening in the Kern
County mountains and desert. Some locations are already reporting
gusts around 40 mph and locally up to near 50 mph. Short-term high
resolution guidance continues to show gusty winds until this
evening; thus, will keep the Wind Advisory that remains in effect
for these areas through Midnight tonight.

Expect warmer, near seasonal average, temperatures on Sunday as
weak high pressure passes over Central California. Further
warming is expected for Monday, although some increasing clouds
due to the next approaching system could mitigate daytime solar
heating a bit, especially the northern portions of our forecast
area, or north of Fresno County. This system is expected to move
into our northern portions and remain parked over these areas
until the next stronger system approaches by Tuesday night.
Showers will begin in these areas as early as Monday night and
continue into Tuesday.

When the next system arrives, additional moisture will spread
into much of Central California Tuesday night into Wednesday when
the bulk of the precipitation is expected. A subtropical moisture
tap is expected with this system, although the brunt of this is
expected over Yosemite and locations to the north, where the
highest rain and snow amounts are expected. Models have generally
been pretty consistent with timing and placement of the deeper
moisture over the last few days. It appears much of our area will
receive some precipitation, but amounts will likely decrease
significantly south of Fresno County in the SJ Valley and south
of Sequoia National Park in the Sierra Nevada. Relatively cold
air will infiltrate by Wednesday afternoon and evening; we are
not expecting a significant rise in snow levels with this
particular event. Snow levels over the mountains will likely lower
from around 7,000 feet on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning to
6,000 feet towards the latter part, or when the colder air
arrives. Afterward, northwest flow aloft will continue behind the
system, so lingering showers could persist into Thursday morning
in some areas, mainly over the Sierra Nevada from Fresno County
and north towards Yosemite.

For much of Thursday and through next Saturday, expect dry
conditions. Temperatures are expected to warm a little, or return
to around seasonal averages for late March, although northwest
flow will continue. On Friday night into next Saturday, another
upper-level low could pass mainly over the lee side of the Sierra
Nevada and into the Great Basin, or as an inside-slider trough, as
the last couple of GFS runs have been showing this. However,
confidence is low regarding this feature at this time, as some of
the other models show quite a bit of disagreement.


VFR conditions will prevail at MCE, MER, FAT, VIS, and BFL through
at least the next 24 hours. Areas of mountain obscuring IFR
conditions expected in the Sierra Nevada and Kern County mountains
through 00z Sunday. Sustained west to northwest winds of 20 to 30
mph, with gusts up to 55 mph, are likely in portions of the Kern
County mountains and desert through 07z Sunday. Areas of mountain
obscuring MVFR conditions anticipated in the Sierra Nevada and Kern
County mountains from 00z Sunday until at least 09z Sunday.





The level of certainty for days 1 and 2 is high.
The level of certainty for days 3 through 7 is medium.

Certainty levels include low...medium...and high. Please visit for additional information
an/or to provide feedback.


.HNX Watches/Warnings/Advisories...
Wind Advisory until midnight PDT tonight CAZ095-098-099.



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